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1. Lets quickly review how to
get a fade effect in Photoshop.
Place an image to fade on a
layer, and choose Layer >
Add Layer Mask > Reveal All.
Make sure that the Layer
Mask Thumbnail icon is
selected in the Layers palette.
Using the gradient tool, set to
default black and white, and
click and drag over the image.
Have you ever had a fade effect look as if its starting or ending too
abruptlyor almost being cut off? Here we explain how to use Adobe
Photoshop to solve that problem and achieve better fade effects.
Although the visible quality enhancement with this technique may
vary, its a good tip to know
2. Now lets check out the
fade effect youve created.
You may notice that the fade
looks as if its starting or
ending too quickly or almost
as if its being cut off. The
higher the lightness contrast
between the fading image
and the background, and the
shorter the distance of the
fade, the more obvious this
Layers Palette
The eye icon in the first
column lets you know
if the layer is visible or
not. The second column
has two icons, one
being the paintbrush
which tells you that you
are painting on the
layer, the other telling
you that the layer mask
is selected.
3. Heres how to solve the
problem. Follow the same
process described in step 1,
but when you draw a gradi-
ent on the layer mask, draw it
about 25% longer than usual
toward both the starting and
ending directions.
4. With the layer mask chan-
nel still selected as the current
target channel, choose Image
> Adjust > Curves. By adding
two control points, shape an
S-curve as shown here. You
may want to adjust the curve
to change the look of the fade
transition. If you like the fade
effect in the preview, click OK.
5. By applying the S-curve-
based tonal correction to the
layer mask, you add speed
changes to the fade transi-
tionsome speed accelera-
tion at the beginning and
some speed reduction at the
end. This prevents the fade
from starting or ending too
quickly; thus you get a more
natural-looking fade.
Note: Fading edges also can
be created with the Feather
option on the Select menu
and some Selection tools.
Feather always creates
natural-looking fading edges
because it has the S-curve
effect built-in.
Curves dialog box
To add a control point
in the Curves dialog
box, click and drag on
the graph area. To
remove a control
point from a curve,
drag the control point
off the graph area.
Right: Fade created
with the S-curve
Left: Fade effect with
default gradient.
Adobe, the Adobe logo, and
Photoshop are trademarks of
Adobe Systems Incorporated.
1996 Adobe Systems
Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Contributing author: Etsuro Endo
Photography: PhotoDisc
PS4.0 11/96